Sunday, January 30, 2011
THE THINGS YOU WILL NEVER HEAR FROM HPD
It seems like we always hear the negative things about Hartford Police Officers and I have had numerous conversations with Chief Robert's that HPD does an awful job of public relations.
A perfect example happened this morning, and now that it is posted here it will probably be in a press release, but Hartford officers are doing things like this day in and day out and no one highlights their efforts.
On a Sunday morning when most of us are inside staying warm, drinking coffee and relaxing,others in the City have something else in mind. Two Hartford Police Officers were working a special detail this morning in response to street robberies in the Albany Avenue area.
Apparently something aroused the suspicions of Officers Stephen Pepler and Kevin O'Brien. As they attempted to investigate further, the subject, a 17 year old male took off running to get away from the officers. The officers chased the suspect and during the chase the 17 year old pulled a silver handgun from his waistband. This could have turned into a much different outcome and at one point one of the officers thought that the suspect might be preparing to fire, instead though the suspect threw the gun to get rid of it.
These officers might have ended a one man temporary crime spree through their actions, and these are the things we should be hearing about. This isn't an isolated incident by a couple of "super cops", these are the things HPD officers are doing everyday, day in and day out. Sometimes revolvers, sometimes rifles, sometimes machine guns and in at least one case a grenade launcher.
Instead, many times HPD is portrayed as a bunch of wifebeaters and goons out racially profiling innocent people in the community. Some of that is HPD's doing by not putting information out or stonewalling the media when they inquire, other times it is our polticians grandstanding.
I had a conversation with Councilman Painter about this very subject this past week. I asked him if he knew that Hartford Police Officers had collected hundreds of toys for children across the city who may have had nothing Christmas morning otherwise. It was a great effort spearheaded by police officers, but I heard nothing about it other than talking to officers I knew who told me about it.
That is the type of story that HPD should have gained tremendous mileage off of, possibly on a national level if they only handled their public relations right. Imagine a television crew riding with Hartford Officers as they play Santa, knocking on doors in some of the city's poorest neighborhoods handing out gifts.
It would also serve another purpose as many people might actually see the cops as human beings, and not people to be feared that you only have to interact with at bad times. That is how relationships are built and walls are torn down.
The 17 year old on Albany Avenue might have a different opinion, but his next unsuspecting robbery victim might actually appreciate the HPD's
efforts that we never hear about. It's very unfortunate.